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This Year's Banned Pokémon Anime Episode

Illustration for article titled This Years Banned iPokémon/i Anime Episodeem/em
Screenshot: Bulbapedia

Earlier this spring, the 64th episode of the Sun & Moon anime aired in Japan. Since then, the episode’s English dub has not been broadcasted in the U.S. Rather, it was skipped entirely.

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As Bulbapedia and Gamerant (via Yurukuyaru) explain, Ash dresses up like a Passimian in the episode.

However, it’s not merely that he dresses up like a Passimian that appears to have caused the ban, but his face is painted as can see in these screenshots from website Shinobu.

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Illustration for article titled This Years Banned iPokémon/i Anime Episodeem/em
Screenshot: Shinobu

According to Bulbapedia, it seems as though the English-language dub of this episode wasn’t released in order to avoid possible blackface comparisons and criticism.

Illustration for article titled This Years Banned iPokémon/i Anime Episodeem/em
Screenshot: Bulbapedia

There is a precedent. During the 2000s, the character Jynx had to be redesigned after the character’s appearance was criticized as negative racial stereotypes.

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.

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DISCUSSION

laserface1242
Laserface1242

Let me remind everyone that this is not censorship. Censorship implies that the government has banned the episode in question. This is not the case as its still possible to stream the subbed version of the episode. No, what has happened was that the distributor to the Pokemon anime has decided not to localize this episode. Nobody’s free speech was violated.